Skilled Worker

Federal Skilled Worker Immigration Programs

Skilled workers now need to go through the Express Entry Programs to apply for permanent residence. The Express Entry however handles applications for 3 programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

A comparison table of the three programs can be found in IRCC’s website. Here we focus on the Federal Skilled Worker Program which is more common for applicants not residing in Canada.

Federal Skilled Worker Express Entry Program (FSW EE)

To qualify for the program, applicants must meet minimum requirements for

  • skilled work experience (one continuous year)
  • language ability (CLB 7, i.e., IELTS – General Training Test 6 or above in all categories)
  • education (secondary school graduate or above), an Education Credential Assessment (ECA) is required for the highest degree if not studied in Canada

The Process:

Step 1: Calculating your scores

Applicants first need to find out their scores in two similar but different scoring systems:

1 Federal Skilled Worker points
(FSW, 67 points or above to pass)
Other than the three minimum requirements mentioned above, this FSW score will determine if an applicant qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program
Six factors are considered and applicants need to score 67 points or higher
If an applicant scores lower than 67 points, he/she is not qualify for FSW program no matter how many Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points they score and cannot enter into the Express Entry Pool
2 Comprehensive Ranking System score
(CRS score, the higher the better)
To rank applicants in the Express Entry (EE) pool
Similar factors for calculating the FSW scores are considered but with different weight and mechanism for calculating the scores
Additional points are given based on IRCC’s immigration priorities, such as French language skills, siblings residing in Canada as a PR / Citizen


Step 2: Create an EE profile and Enter the EE pool

If an applicant gain more than 67 FSW points, the next step is to create an EE profile in the IRCC portal and enter the EE pool. Their CRS scores will be used for ranking all EE profiles in the pool.


Step 3: Wait for the draw and ITA

IRCC conduct irregular draws and announce a score, those EE profiles with CRS score at or above the announced scores (tie-breaker rule applies) will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).


Step 4: Have supporting documents ready and submit the PR application online through IRCC’s portal


Step 5: Undergo medical check, collect police certificates, and wait for PR application results


Processing time:

  • 6 to 12 months normally

What are the competitive edges:

  • Direct PR program
  • Can choose any destination in Canada
  • Fast processing time

FSW EE Program is suitable for applicants …

  • who are early thirties or younger, post-graduated education, and with excellent English test results
  • with siblings already in Canada as a PR or Citizen
  • studied/worked in Canada
  • who are good at both Canada’s official languages – English and French, would also have a definite advantage


Read More Understanding Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Status and Citizenship | PR Card Renewal Requirements | How to Apply for Canadian Citizenship


Official links:
Immigrate through Express Entry
Compare all Express Entry programs
Eligibility to apply as a Federal Skilled Worker